A timeline through our history

Professor Gwilym Roberts

For more than 100 years we’ve worked with pioneers of their time on mission-critical, life-changing and industry-advancing innovations. As we enter a new decade, we continue to help the inventions of today impact and shape the future. Join us on a virtual journey through some of the major milestones in our history.

Professor Gwilym Roberts

Chair

2019


WFEL: Engineering excellence and innovation

WFEL is the world leader in tactical military bridges which can be erected in less than an hour and make a crucial difference in disaster scenarios. Our client produces the finest, quickly-deployed bridges for military and disaster recovery purposes. Specialising in defence, WFEL supplies more than 40 armed forces around the world and is a prime contractor to the United States Department of Defense and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence.

2019


Helping the Netherlands flower

Piet Schreurs, a well-known rose and gerbera breeding company, and our Dutch team have enjoyed a longstanding relationship over the years. The team assists with filing and prosecution of their trade marks in connection with plant variety names and watching services. Very popular in Europe, especially on Valentine's Day, their most famous rose, RED NAOMI!®, was introduced in 2006 and is now cultivated by more than 100 growers.

2019


Going Dutch: Kilburn & Strode opens new office in Hilversum and embarks on an integrated cross-border service in Benelux

Our team, located in Hilversum (just outside of Amsterdam) brings over a decade of senior legal experience in IP and provides clients with deep expertise in trade mark clearance and prosecution, portfolio management, anti-counterfeiting, copyright, designs and enforcement. Our office further helps us provide clients with an integrated cross-border service that works in tandem with our offices in London, The Hague, Munich, and San Francisco.

2017


We open our Munich office

Amidst the largest European Patent Office presence in Europe, we’re proud to be ‘Im Herzen’, right in the heart of it.

2017


Making our clients heard

We represent our client at a hearing at the UK patent office for the largest number of cases ever heard jointly at the UK office and assist with the subsequent and successful appeal at the High Court; developing the law relating to plausibility and enablement in the UK.

2016


On a hypersonic cruise with Reaction Engines

Reaction Engines’ SABRETM engines are unique in providing the fuel efficiency of a jet engine with the high-speed performance of a rocket. They enable hypersonic cruise within the atmosphere at up to Mach 5 (over twice as fast as Concorde) or acceleration in rocket mode up to Mach 25 for launch into orbit. The patent portfolio drafted by Kilburn & Strode has assisted with Reaction Engines’ fundraising of over £100 million from the European Space Agency, the United Kingdom Space Agency, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, and HorizonX Ventures (Boeing).

2013


Teasing the competition

A key confectionary manufacturing patent is opposed by a high-profile competitor in the field. We rely on some creative and clever legal arguments to persuade the opposition division that the patented process is inventive. The patent is upheld.

2011


Celebrating innovation in food packaging

We obtain a patent for our client, a multinational food giant. It protects a twist-style wrap on miniature chocolates, which enables them to stay fresh, while delivering consumer satisfaction when unwrapping.


 

2009


IP Translator – Landmark case that changes European practice on classification

We file IP Translator in 2009, which eventually leads to a Court of Justice decision that changes European practice on classification. Class headings are no longer deemed by the EUIPO to cover all goods in a class and every national registry in the EU also has to revisit their practice.



 

2009


Giving movement to Sony Mobile Communication

We are representing Sony Mobile Communications before the EUIPO Boards of Appeal in matters relating to the registration of a movement mark. If registered, this will broaden the client's scope of protection to include brief animations as used in their adverts.

2007


An MBE for former Kilburn & Strode partner, Tibor Gold

For his services to intellectual property, Tibor Gold is awarded his MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace following an announcement in the New Year Honours of 2007.

 

2005


Supporting Norton Motorcycle through a brand renaissance

We were there every mile of the journey to protect this British brand since 2005, as their heritage mark rose to become the most envied motorcycles in the business.

2005


Former Senior Partner Kevin Kearney, is elected Sheriff of London

Legally in charge of the Old Bailey (London's principal criminal court), but forever the entertainer, he hosts all of the judges for lunch at the Old Bailey during trials.

2005


Plausibility for inventive step: Johns Hopkins T1329/04 at the EPO

The benchmark for plausibility is set by T1329/04 (Factor-9/JOHNS HOPKINS), which rejects the possibility of using post-published data as the sole evidence for a technical effect and concludes that the disclosure of the application itself must at least make it plausible that the invention indeed solves the problem it purports to solve. The principal case is still the most commonly referenced case at the EPO on plausibility for inventive step.


 

2001


Inspiring millions of children to eat more fruit and vegetables

Soft, cute, ugly, delicious. We begin helping TCC Global with their trade mark portfolio. Through friendly casts of characters, like the Goodness Gang, unBEElievables and the Misfits, they help get fruit and veg into the hands of children all over the world. 

1999


Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Kristina Cornish becomes the firm’s first female Partner in its 93-year history, leading many women into successful careers in the firm. Fast forward to present day: we have a gender diverse range of partners, and the firm strives to lead the profession in promoting equality, diversity and inclusiveness.  

1992


We work for the most innovative names and brands, save for a few dinosaurs

We file the registration for the iconic imagery for the original Jurassic Park logo.

 

1990


Dolly the Sheep: Making the impossible possible

Dolly changes the way humanity looks at biology, with the successful cloning of a sheep from a differentiated cell from an adult animal. We write the patent applications and work on all of the subsequent prosecution.

1984


Keeping a close eye on Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail

We have protected trade marks for the world of Beatrix Potter for more than 35 years.


 

1969


Concorde's gorgeous 'droop snoot'

Concorde's beautiful ogival wings let her fly at a very high angle of attack to provide enough lift at low speed. With her gorgeous nose designed very long and sharp to position her forward oblique supersonic shockwave, she needed a way for the pilots to see the runway when taking off and landing. Her highly ingenious 'droop snoot' enabled this by hinging down by 12.5 degrees for low speed flight. Our expert aeronautics engineering patent attorneys drafted the Droop Snoot Patent and she was solidly protected by it when she flew. Today, 50 years later, no other successful airliner has had a droop snoot.

1940


Bomber interception in WWII: The Micklethwait Height Correction Attachment

"Kilburn & Strode to Fighter Command. Do you copy?"
During WWII, Eric Walter Eustace Micklethwait, who later becomes partner at Kilburn & Strode and a former CIPA president, serves in the Royal Observer Corps. Micklethwait is assigned to the rooftop of the University of London to report the height of incoming bomber raids using a Post Plotting Instrument. He realises that the equipment could be radically improved and invents ‘The Micklethwait Height Correction Attachment’. It is later added to Royal Observer Corps equipment in order to calculate the incoming raid height significantly more accurately and to quickly be passed along the line to Fighter Command for bomber interception.

1930


Napier and Son: Speed record holders ashore and at sea

Until the 1950s, we acted for the Great British engineering concern Napier. Founded in 1808 by David Napier, the second son of the Duke of Argyll’s blacksmith, Napier began with steam engines and steam-powered printing presses, some of which powered the Hansard printing presses for the proceedings of the Houses of Parliament. By the 1900s, Napier began building high-performance road and racing cars, expanding later into a serious aero engine manufacturer. Napier engines powered Sir Malcolm Campbell’s land speed record in the Napier-Campbell Bluebird, his later Campbell-Napier-Railton Bluebird, the first car to exceed 250mph, and John Cobb’s Napier-Railton Special, which today still holds the Brooklands all-time lap record. Napier also builds the inaugural winner of the Harmsworth Trophy, the motorboating equivalent of the America’s Cup.

1924


Frank Halford - The Engineer of Engines

Major Frank Halford, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a notable aero engine designer, is the inventor of the world’s first turbocharged racing car, the Halford Special. Kilburn & Strode enjoys a long-standing working relationship with him. Not only does Halford design the inverted inline four Gipsy Major for the ubiquitous Tiger Moth trainer and the spectacular H-24 Napier Sabre for the incredibly fast Hawker Typhoon and Hawker Tempest, he also leads the introduction of the de Havilland Goblin for the Royal Air Force’s first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, and the Ghost for the world’s first jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet.

1914


Packard Motor Car Company

We've been gearheads since the very beginning. Kilburn & Strode is selected to handle UK patent prosecution for gears used in luxury automobiles. Dating back to 1899, Packard Motor Car Company was based in Detroit, Michigan.

1906


Steel for the Golden Gate Bridge and some of the world’s most iconic landmarks

At the time of Kilburn & Strode’s founding in 1906, Mr Kilburn had been working for several of the world’s great industrial firms, including Bethlehem Steel. They were the second largest steelworks in the United States and its biggest shipbuilder. Bethlehem Steel supplied the steel for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which comes in quite handy for our West Coast team today.

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